DSO reduction, time saving and risk reduction
Marcel van Loveren works at YoungCapital as a Credit Manager for three years now. On his first day, Marcel was introduced to the products of CreditDevice. The credit management software and credit information module had just been implemented within YoungCapital. “The time of the index card box is far behind us. If you look back, I ask myself how people were able to work like this for years. Fortunately, we now have access to digital solutions for credit management. I have to say, I am very happy with all these tech-developments”.
Customer service 3.0
Developments are nothing new for Marcel. Since he started working at YoungCapital a lot has changed. “The turnover has more than tripled in three years. We have opened foreign branches and the credit management team has doubled. Growth costs time and money, which goes hand in hand with flexibility. Our team has become more of a customer service department, of which credit management is an important component. When it comes to customer service we have to be flexible. Marcel explains: “An invoice is the first contact moment with a customer after a deal has been closed. During that contact moment, we are the company’s business card, we see and hear a lot. This varies from positive to negative feedback about our administrative processing. For example, it may happen that a customer is not satisfied and therefore neglects to pay its invoice. However, it can also be that a customer is not paying due to payment problems. As a customer service, we are able to pick up these signals and act accordingly. In this way, we are truly an extension of our sales team”.
‘Close contact with the entire organization’
“Besides the close collaboration with Sales, we have direct contact with the rest of the organization. If you execute credit management in the right way, then you talk to every department within the organization; Sales, Back office but also Finance. By communicating with everybody and understanding the processes, you can get a more prominent role within the company. This as a result that people come to you for information”. Where traditional credit management is purely based on collecting money, the YoungCapital team wants more. “As customer service department, you automatically have to deal with the quality of invoicing, complaint registration and service. By working like this we take a lot of work away from other departments.
That you can better work together when you understand each other is nothing new. However, that you can make your work easier by making optimal use of process knowledge is rather interesting. But how do you do that? “Actually, you can look at it like this” says Marcel, “by knowing the processes of sales, aftersales and administration, you also know exactly which steps a customer goes through. We are monitoring these steps and are trying to improve them. At the same time, we make sure that the credit management process and the other processes fit together seamlessly. It has to be right for the customer”. Marcel: “If all processes come together and this is logical for your customer, automation is an obvious consequence”. Here Marcel refers to the entire client process from A to Z. “For instance, new clients first go through a customer acceptation process. For this we use the Credit Information module of CreditDevice, which is entirely integrated with the credit management software. A traffic light shows Sales whether they can do business with a prospect or not. If the light is green, they can continue the process: the desired services can be purchased, hours can be registered and eventually, the invoice can be sent. Our customer service department only has to deal with prospects which do not get through, which saves a lot of time.”
The future of credit management
Depending on the size of a client, type of customer and information report of CreditDevice a customer is assigned to a risk profile. The risk profile is applied to the credit management process and varies in tone-of-voice, but also in lead time. “Because all the CreditDevice modules are integrated with each other, we have all our client- and debtor information in one place. Which data was obtained during the customer acceptance process, what is the credit limit and why is this risk profile assigned? We want to talk our customers in the right tone of voice. The approach is completely different when you talk to business customers and private individuals or multinationals and freelancers. By approaching everybody differently it helps to optimally maintain customer relations”.
For example, individuals and freelancers we offer the online payment option (via e-mail or SMS), while most of the large key accounts prefer to receive weekly statements. “We can serve everybody and that is exactly what customer service stands for and why we are so happy with our current Credit Management solutions. Thanks to automation, we now have time to build and maintain customer relations. “Marcel expects that a lot more will be automated in the future:” If there are no specialties, there is no reason to interrupt the credit management process. The system can then decide for itself whether the pre-set workflows can go through or need to be scaled up to a higher risk profile”.
Partners through thick and thin
YoungCapital uses various modules of CreditDevice. “This leads to DSO reduction, time saving and risk reduction,” says Marcel van Loveren. “The turnover has grown by more than 400 million euros in three years. Such growth requires flexibility and flexible partners. CreditDevice offers us the same level of flexibility and has grown with us over the years. That is an important characteristic for a good partner, because in that way you can come up with new, valuable solutions to improve credit management. “Marcel explains:” These improvements can only take place by continuously talking to each other, which is why we do not see CreditDevice as supplier, but as a partner.”
“Due to the good relationship and cooperation between YoungCapital and CreditDevice, it often feels like the IT department of CreditDevice is an extension of our own organization. CreditDevice thinks along with us and facilitates where possible, so that we can do our work as quickly and easily as possible. CreditDevice is always open to ideas but remains realistic. When I call, I do not receive a ticket, but a familiar face answers the phone. This personal touch always make me feel welcome”.